Sacramento, California (NAPSI) - A challenging economy has forced many Americans to consider a career change. Whether such a move is prompted by a desire for more money or fulfillment or the need to find a job in a changing economy, making such a major change usually requires some research.

Here are three steps to help you get started:

• Think about what interests you. Could you turn a current hobby into a career? For example, if you love travel, you might want to work for a travel agent. A love of airplanes might inspire a mechanic to train for airplane repair.

• Consider the skills you already have and how they might fit into alternative career choices. Can your love of math be channeled into teaching math, finance or tax time preparation?

• Look at which industries are growing. Consider where the jobs are. For example, while many highly qualified unemployed and underemployed business professionals struggle to find job opportunities, others are building new and fulfilling careers as financial representatives in the insurance industry.

Throughout the next year, The Guardian Life Insurance Company ofAmericawill hire over 800 financial representatives by targeting and recruiting career changers as part of its distribution force recruitment strategy.

Even before the economic downturn, many of the company’s financial representatives came to it after successful careers in other industries. Unlike employers with a more traditional view of the job market, the company welcomes career changers and experienced professionals who may have recently experienced a downsizing or who are working in unfulfilling jobs where their skills are undervalued.

The company is one of several insurance industry employers hiring during the economic downturn, which may surprise some. The rise in demand for qualified sales reps is driven in part by a rise in demand for more secure and reliable financial products not as adversely affected by the turbulent economy, such as whole life insurance. The same economic issues causing problems in other industries make such secure, reliable products an even more valued commodity.

A mutual insurer founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company ofAmericaand its subsidiaries offer life insurance, disability income insurance, dental insurance products and funding vehicles for 401(k) plans, annuities and other financial products.

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